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Closed minds, closed borders

Vir Sanghvi in When attacked, we must hit back (Counterpoint, April 26) has boldly expressed his views about Pakistan’s mindless policy of hatred for everything that India stands for.

india Updated: May 02, 2009 21:23 IST

Vir Sanghvi in When attacked, we must hit back (Counterpoint, April 26) has boldly expressed his views about Pakistan’s mindless policy of hatred for everything that India stands for. It really makes no sense for people to close their minds against anyone in an age where technology dictates progress. Unfortunately, Islam seems to have become a tool for a few who manage to frighten others into succumbing to their wishes and are acting as its official interpreters. The essence of their philosophy seems to do what is asked by their mullahs and, later, to seek rewards in heaven. This suggests that people who fall prey to this sort of propaganda have ceased to think for themselves.

Dinesh Chandra, Delhi

II

Vir Sanghvi has hit the nail on the head when he says that India’s good-neighbour policy has been a complete disaster. From the day Pakistan took birth, our leaders, right from Gandhiji, have been apologetic in responding to our neighbour’s unfair demands and wars. After the 1971 war, we gave Pakistan more than 90,000 prisoners of war, without any counter-guarantee of good behaviour. Despite the provocations like the ongoing militancy in J&K, India chooses not to respond in kind, in the hope that coercive diplomacy will yield results, even in the wake of 26/11.

P. Kanaka Durga, via email

III

Pakistan has always been oscillating between democracy and military rule and has lost control of the terrorist outfits that it gave birth to. Pakistan’s foreign policy has been a one-point agenda, Kashmir. Pakistan must realise that terrorism is a nuclear weapon that is uncontrollable if not nipped in the bud. Religious fundamentalism can work in a given set of circumstances as shown by the examples of Iran and Saudi Arabia. Pakistan should pay serious attention to social reforms if it wants to pull itself out of the black hole into which it is sinking by the day.

Abhishek Kishore, London

IV

Vir Sanghvi’s analysis confirms the fact that an average Pakistani believes that India is Pakistan’s greatest enemy. It believes that India manipulated the internal strife in 1971 to create Bangladesh and it has never lost an opportunity to destabilise Pakistan. India’s collaboration with Israel is a global threat to Muslims. They also believe that Indian Muslims are the most oppressed people in the world.

Naveed Khan, via email

V

It is heartening to note that secular, liberal editors like Vir Sanghvi have finally concluded that given the relentless hostility of the Pakistani establishment and the people at large, we must follow a policy of tit-for-tat. Sanghvi has rightly stated that the time for lighting candles at the Wagah border has long passed. We must recognise that the illiberal mindset of the average Pakistani is not going to change irrespective of our generosity.

M. Ratan, Delhi

Leaders we deserve

Karan Thapar in his article Silence of the lambs (Sunday Sentiments, April 25) tends to put the bulk of the blame for the infructuous state of our democracy on the candidates for the chair of the Prime Minister. Mr Thapar has no words of admonition for an electorate that at a ripe old age of 62, is allowing itself to be fragmented at the drop of a hat. The British quit when we rose in unison. We can only take solace that the US is no different and it took a multi-trillion dollar black-hole in their economy to vote a black man into the Oval office. Blame must rest on the Indian voter who has turned out to be myopic and politically naive. People get the leaders they deserve.

R. Narayanan, Ghaziabad

II

I don’t think terrorism can be completely wiped out because India has been a victim of external forces from pre-historic times. What is the need of the hour is to strengthen internal security. Also, our leaders should be capable of ensuring a relatively sound economy. I feel that Indian agriculture, if improved and re-energised effectively, can contribute to the growth of our nation because India has been an agro-based economy because of its rich natural resources.

Aishwarya Mohan, via email